At 2 A.M.

May 29, 2012

I had no trouble falling asleep over my book, so I turned out the light around 10:45. But now it’s 2 a.m. and I’m awake. My mind has begun to turn, like a merry go-round, starting slowly but picking up speed. My husband has chosen tonight to snore—not loudly, but vigorously enough to keep me awake. I try to relax, to breathe, to capture pleasant thoughts, but it’s all for nothing. “Snxxkkll,” says my husband, and the breeze from the ceiling fan seems unusually strong. I can’t get comfortable.

My mind seizes the opportunity to highlight whatever flaws and character defects it wants me to know about, thrusting them up for consideration. I think of three more things, minor but necessary, that I will add to the to-do list for the week. I feel overwhelmed by how long that list is growing. Soon I’m having a full-blown anxiety attack and all hope for immediate sleep has fled. I know that I lead a richly blessed life—that I am not in need in any real way. But tell that to my mind at 2 a.m.

I repair to the guest room where I turn the TV on low, just loud enough that I can barely hear it. I find this soothing. Eventually I fall asleep, only to be woken at 4:18 a.m. by my son’s alarm clock, the aptly-named Sonic Bomb. I storm into his room, which adjoins the guest room, and change the time on his alarm to a more reasonable hour, muttering imprecations (Why was the alarm set for 4:18 in the first place? Inquiring minds still want to know.) However, he hit the snooze button at 4:18, instead of turning off the alarm, so it goes off again at 4:28.  This time, the dog, who sleeps with him, decides she requires a bathroom break.

By now, it’s getting dangerously close to the time my own alarm clock is set for. Should I try to get a little more sleep? Do I need the TV again? Mmm, this bed is pretty comfortable...

Wait—is that my husband getting his coffee in the kitchen?


What do you do at 2 a.m.?

Oh, sure, sleep now...